THE NEW-TO-ME 1963 WAGONAIRE - June 2005

I had a call from a guy who was trying to get rid of a '63 Wagonaire.  It was mine for the taking - except that it wound up costing a lot of money to send the flat bed truck to get it.  I'm sure it's only the beginning of spending money!

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Front fenders have rust at the back edges and headlight "eyebrows", surface rust on top sides.

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Left rear quarter has big dent in back, small one on side, rot at bottom.

The body number plate is missing from the firewall, but it seems to be a P2 "Standard" wagon, the bottom of the line.  It has little hub caps, no outside stainless trim, only one sun visor, rubber floor mats, the OHV6 engine, standard transmission, no overdrive, no A/C.  The rear section of the roof is fixed, not a sliding one.

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To save a buck or two, there was no chrome bezel on the clock blank-off plate.

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A low-buck glove box with top-opening lid.

While it has a few dents and the normal rust in the front fenders and the rear quarters, the interior is excellent and the body is restorable.  The odometer reads only 62,000 miles.   Some work was done on it by the most-recent owner, but it doesn't run now.   The fuel pump and carb are in a bucket in the back of the car, along with the radiator and gas tank.  But, it looks like a little re-assembly might get it running.   The master cylinder is empty, so there are no brakes, but maybe some wheel cylinders and some new lines will get it right.

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The front fenders will have to be patched, as well as the rear quarters.   The right side needs a rocker panel and some work on the floor.  The right rear door got hit and needs to be straightened.  I was able to straighten the window frame since this picture was taken by simply loosening a few bolts on the door edges - it must have moved when the door got hit.  The Champagne Gold paint is thoroughly faded, so this may be the time I learn how to use a spray gun.  We'll see how this project goes!

The general plan is to put it back together enough that it is driveable and half-presentable so that it can be used for a winter "beater" and car for the summer cottage.  Eventually, it may be worthy to share garage space with the '65 Wagonaire and the M5.  But, it is in the garage now because it won't move under its own power.  Now I have to begin the search for a bunch of parts and brush up on my welding skills.

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